back to article Google enters underwater cable business

Apparently, Google has stopped somewhere short of setting up its very own wireless network. But its very own Verizon-battling underwater comms cable is good to go. In September, when we reported that Google was preparing to drag a multi-terabit communications cable under the Pacific Ocean, the world's largest search engine …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Several far east cables get cut at the same tme and then google announces it's own undersea strategy?

    Shhhhhh, I can hear them overhead, pass the tinfoil!

  2. Keith T

    Maybe not such a bad idea after all

    Considering the amount of crap orbiting the planet and that both the US and China are developing a taste for trying to create as much space junk as possible it could be safer in the long term to go undersea.

    ---- As long as some (w)anchor doesn't go fishing.

  3. John

    Geography not your strong point?

    @ AC above ...

    Ummm, that would be the MIDDLE East where the cables were cut.

  4. JP
    Black Helicopters

    Google -> Telco?

    C'mon, it makes sense. Google's laying it's own cable, has VOIP, and is bidding for a chunk of the wireless spectrum.

    GT&T anyone?

  5. Nick Drew

    Wot, no jokes...

    ...about laying cable?

    Mine's the brown one with sticky patches...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Just more data mining?

    <conspiracy hat>

    Google, the company which wants to know everything about you, has started buying network infrastructure. Could it be that they are not satisfied in tracking you through adverts and searches, but want to monitor all traffic?

    </conspiracy hat>

  7. b166er

    Thinking outside the box?

    What? erm....we need more bandwidth. OK, lets lay a phat cable. Phew that brainstorming was so intense, I need to lie down.

  8. SpitefulGOD
    Gates Halo

    Bad Days Ahead

    A googleplexed world

    Replace the word "Google" in this article with "Microsoft" then watch the comments roll on in as well as anyone with a continental shelf fining for its usage.

    No doubt they’ll be some decoders on each end so they can extract whatever information they like, hideous.

  9. plpl


    Considering AOL is leaving the networkinging business, it could sell the ATDN network to google.

    So Google would have its own worldwide tier-one backbone.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    @ john

    Sorry for the inaccuracies in my comment, this was written after a 23 hour session testing / repairing a faulty transatlantic cable transmission system (yes, I'm sure it was the Atlantic) Perhaps I should do far more research before opening my keyboard!

    El Reg, perhaps you should have a pedant’s (or should that be pedants' or perhaps just plain pedants?)icon?

    Not to worry, I'm sure some smart arse will be along to put me right shortly!

  11. Phil Brett


    $300m - That's just a drop in the ocean for google!

    ... I'll get my coat

  12. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
    Black Helicopters

    Sauron opener.

    That spate of cable breakages -wherever they took place, coupled with the US admission that they now have at least 2 submersibles that can patch into optical cable and read everything without anyone becoming any the wiser (including the prezidunce) will give the upcoming generation of users the idea it might be wise to encrypt everything they send.

    Which should have a dramatic effect on the cable cutters. I wish I knew a lot more about encrypting and I only visit an handful of sites -mostly forums. It would just be nice to think that the only people who read my rubbish are doing so because they want to.

    Sad buggers.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Bow down to our new Masters

    How long before we're all eating Google-mac's, wearing Google brand clothes, getting our power from Google electricity etc?

    They're well on their way to world domination

    Mines the one with the Google logo

  14. Daniel B.
    Thumb Up

    Hey, google as a telco might not be a bad idea. That would give them income for those other hippie projects... Or giving some ISP's true reasons to upgrade their networks ;)maybe if they promise fiber-to-the-premises... :)

  15. kain preacher


    What will people say when google starts selling OS /internet/ cell phones/ cable

  16. Troy Shanahan

    All good

    ...Until the anglerfish start chewing through the cable.

    ...Mine's the Driza-bone in the corner.

  17. Tim Bates
    Thumb Up

    Attention Google planners!

    Could we have one from USA to Australia please?

    Or perhaps one from Japan to Australia linking in with this one.

    Thanks Mr Google.

  18. Walter McCann

    All about distance

    KT et al,

    Don't forget a Geo stationary satelite orbits at 36,000km, so a sat link would mean the data would travel 72,000km - at the speed of light (not much that we know about goes faster than this) that takes 240ms assuming no delay from routers etc, a cable under the pacific is 5,000km so delay is 10ms - quite a difference.

    The latency can really slow down your network (Just compare the difference in surfing over 3g vs DSL) - your system has to wait longer to decide if a packet is lost or not causing all sorts of issues.

    Anyway 2 questions:

    1) What happened to all the "Dark" cable left over from the dot com bust (or was that just under the atlantic - I remember hearing you could buy a fibre link from Europe to the US for $1 plus a bit of debt)?

    2) I know Google has loads of money but $300mln plus anciliary costs for a link does not seem to make economic sense (considering they would require a backup link should the gremlins attack again)

    Anyway sorry for the ramble...


  19. Charles Manning

    @Walter McCann

    "What about dark cable"... This might exist, but it is largely on landmasses, not between them. Contrary to popular believe you cannot put bandwidth in a container and send it elsewhere.

    Undersea cables between US and UK/Europe might be two-a-penny, but the bandwidth in the pacific is relatively tight. The pacific is also quite hostile to cable maintenance (earthquakes, depth etc) making upkeep expensive.

    The costs of installing a cable are high, and per Mbit data costs are dropping. Thus it is hard for the backbone providers to justify adding more cable and trying to make a profit from that.

    Google realises that increasing internet usage increases their profits: a rising tide raises all ships, but Google's ship is growing faster than others. A $300M investment will probably pay off quite quickly for Google.

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